"From 1946 to 1973, more than 350 people died in abandoned refrigerators." --The Boston Globe
I never thought I'd die like this, trapped inside an unplugged Frigidaire, not after all the warnings we'd heard as kids about the airtight seal, the hidden latch only the outer handle disengaged. "Trust me, love," you said, so I got in. Now my nose and lips and fingertips are black; my lungs are full of bloody froth. Monstrous, love made me monstrous. I see that now. I understand. Don't worry that I suffered much: the panic and panting lasted maybe half an hour. Then I blacked out. I'm sorry you looked before you left: rictus, clenched fists, my bulbous eyes imply an anger I could never feel. Instead of them remember this: the heart of an asphyxiate beats on, harder and faster, for several minutes after breathing stops, the way mine always did waiting for you.
Tim McBride works at SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina. He has also worked for USAID, NC State University, and the Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo in El Batan, Mexico. He has published one book of poems, The Manageable Cold (TriQuarterly Press, 2010).